I often believe God speaks to me through music, which is why I get very excited to share music with others, whether it be sharing a CD, writing about lyrics, or actually singing for an audience. The latter is one that I have tended to shy away from in recent years. But when my great-grandmother passed away nearly two years ago, I was invited by my father and his cousins to participate in the music for her funeral. It was an honor to do so, and though I had to postpone my flight back to our home in Colorado Springs from our Thanksgiving visit, making one of two trips alone with Joshua and A.J., I did that very willingly.
I take great satisfaction in the knowledge that, not only are Joshua and his Great-great Grandmother Elree in heaven together now, but I also got to witness their meeting while they were each still here. While she was still in his recent memory, I took the opportunity to let Joshua join me for rehearsals for her music, which he enjoyed immensely. It was from that experience that he developed his love for the Christmas hymn, "Oh, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem." He called that "Nana and Pa's Song" because he recalled them singing it.
Though Joshua's services were in February, we asked the congregation to sing this hymn that he loved so much. We were also fortunate enough to have the same voices that Joshua heard in those rehearsals-- including my own, which would have been too faint that day to produce such a joyful sound-- singing "No Tears in Heaven." As it happened, months after Grandma Elree's funeral, our family had decided to record the songs we did for her. I am both disappointed and grateful that we were able to use some of the same music for Joshua's.
Yesterday, we gathered at Mark Hodges' studio to record a sophomore album :). We had rehearsed, but somehow I was concerned that these songs would not turn out as effective as the first CD did. Something happened when we got in the recording booth, though, and I really felt every lyric pouring out as if God intended those words just for me and my life. And the notes... Well, they were for Joshua. Everytime I open my mouth to sing, I imagine that some celestial telephone is carrying the sound of my voice straight to my baby in heaven. I don't know that it's not, in fact.
Singing on these CD's has been one of those little things God has done in my life to prepare me for and help me cope with days to come. Until we did the first CD, I had never paid attention to the words of "It is Well With My Soul," let alone hung onto every word to get me through my days, such as I did while Joshua was sick. Now, I have a new and very enthusiastic appreciation for a song that we recorded yesterday: "When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory!"
(That last part about victory is for you too, Chance!)